Marines upgrade Light Armored Vehicle turret, field initial units

By Lee Hudson / November 20, 2017 at 11:51 AM

The Marine Corps is upgrading its turret on the Light Armored Vehicle and has fielded four new systems to a battalion in California.

The new anti-tank weapon system features an unmanned turret, fires both wire-guided and radio frequency missiles and has an improved thermal sight sensor, according to a Nov. 17 service statement.

"It also has a Far Target Location system, new commander/gunner video sight displays, and an electric elevation and azimuth drive system, which helps rotate the weapon system onto the target," the statement reads.

The LAV program office is also providing new equipment training to units receiving the turret upgrade. The two-week course is for operators and maintainers.

The service is using three-dimensional computer simulated technology used by the Army to train maintenance personnel. This allows the instructor to train multiple students at once.

"Using the 3D [Diagnostic Turret Trainer], students will interactively conduct troubleshooting and remove and replace the ATWS components in a simulated environment, which will be followed by training on actual hardware on the Tactical Turret Trainer and vehicles," Paul Kopjoe, logistics management specialist at the LAV program office, said in a Nov. 17 statement.

Kopjoe said the Marine Corps worked with the Army's armament research, development and engineering center to get the new trainers.

"Traditionally, training products are procured utilizing industry which can take 18-24 months just to get [the] effort on contract," he said. "We were able to eliminate that time by utilizing existing Army resources, so that our Marines would be properly trained when the ATWS was fielded."

Fielding of the new turret will be completed by the end of 2019.